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Looking spiffy, Jee Say

Looking spiffy, Jee Say

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What went down at Tan Jee Say’s Toa Payoh rally last night? Read it here in two minutes.

By Belmont Lay

So what does Jee Say hope to be as Singapore president?

He wants to change the direction of the presidency to reflect what people aspire it to be.

Simply because people want a president who has the courage to question the Government that is resting on its laurels or trying too hard to maintain the status quo.

He says, “The government of today is not the government our parents entrusted their lives and families to in the decades past.”

“This government needs to be challenged and checked if we do not want them to be complacent”.

I think this is needed and has more value for money because a president shouldn’t be paid a lot every year to walk around East Coast Park for as long as he likes.

Tan Jee Say also defended his career record. He says it is “not uncommon” for people in the financial sector to explore other job offers and move within the sector. He attained his goals during his time at one job and simply moved on.

I think that is acceptable. Because only people in elected office get to change job titles while staying still. Like Goh Chok Tong. From Senior Minister to Emeritus Shemeritus. Or His Leeness, from Senior Minister to Minister Mentor.

And so what if Tony Tan had ex-talking head Sharon Au as a speaker at his lunch time rally? Jee Say had the golden voice and ex-deejay Petrina Kow as emcee.

Petrina even hosted a 30-minute Q&A segment towards the end of Jee Say’s rally.

And what were the other high points last night? Rally speakers took pot shots at Tony Tan.

SDP’s Vincent Wijeysingha said, “I will not vote for those who defend the right of the government to hide information about GIC from us”.

Here’s a factoid: Tony Tan was executive director and deputy chairman of GIC from 2005 to July this year, when he had no choice but to quit because he wanted a raise (and more time for slow walks, perhaps) – he wanted the job as this Republic’s president.

Another factoid: GIC is a sovereign wealth fund that manages a part of our national reserves (and some of its investments did go tits up at least once during Tony’s time there).

Another speaker, Professor Paul Tambyah, senior consultant in infectious diseases, attested that Jee Say “is not the kind of person who will interrupt somebody in the middle of a response”.

This is alluding to Tony, who besides looking overly cautious a good part of the time and unable to muster a firm handshake with plebeians during others, still managed to pull together some opportunism to cut Jee Say off mid-sentence during The Online Citizen forum.

Lastly, Jee Say was decked out in a sharp suit for the night. His entire entourage was in formal wear.

Verdict? Jee Say earns brownie points gunning for style despite the sweltering heat and humidity to convey a sense of gravitas.

The Q&A segment, besides providing a glimpse into in life, also softened his image since he has been lambasted for being a tad rambunctious and confrontational.

Most importantly? Tan Jee Say comes off looking like he has a personality.

Unlike Tan Cheng Bock, for example.